In a heart-wrenching moment, the final words of legendary wildlife expert Steve Irwin were unintentionally captured on film by his close friend Justin Lyon. As a loyal crew member, Lyon frequently collaborated with Irwin on various film projects.
Tragically, it was during the filming of “Ocean’s Deadliest” on the Great Barrier Reef in 2006 that Irwin lost his life to a stingray. Lyon was present with him, documenting their underwater adventure. The fateful encounter occurred when they noticed a massive stingray approaching and decided to capture it on film.
Little did they know that this encounter would have dire consequences. After a while of filming, Irwin suggested taking “one last shot.” Unfortunately, this innocent decision marked the beginning of a terrible tragedy.
Recalling the incident on the Australian morning show Studio 10, Lyon shared, “I had the camera, and I thought this was going to be a great shot.” But in an instant, the stingray lunged forward, striking Irwin with its lethal tail.
The sharp blades of the stingray pierced Irwin’s chest, leaving him struggling for breath. Lyon described the distressing moment when they managed to pull Irwin back into the boat, realizing the severity of the situation. It was then that Irwin uttered his final words.
In a calm yet haunting manner, Irwin looked up at Lyon and said, “I’m dying.” These poignant words would forever echo in Lyon’s memory, marking the end of a remarkable life dedicated to nature conservation.
Despite Lyon’s valiant efforts to administer CPR on Irwin for over an hour before medical help arrived, the beloved conservationist could not be saved. He passed away at the age of 44, leaving behind his devoted wife Terri and their two young children, Bindi and Robert.
Irwin’s legacy lives on through his family. Bindi and Robert, now grown adults, have honored their father’s love for animals by actively participating in the management of the Australia Zoo, a venture established and nurtured by the Irwins.
Just recently, Robert shared a deeply emotional moment with his followers. In a social media post, he revealed that his late father had discovered a new species, bringing it to the attention of the Australia Zoo. The heartfelt video depicted the 19-year-old shedding tears of joy as he released the Irwin’s Turtle (Elseya irwini) into its new habitat.
“This is one of the best moments of my whole life,” Robert exclaimed while gently placing the turtle into the water. The significance of this occasion extended beyond the zoo, as it marked the world’s first Irwin’s Turtle hatchling to be exhibited in any zoo.
Prior to releasing the turtle, Robert proudly showcased a picture of his beloved father, invoking his awe-inspiring stories of the species’ magnificence. “All of Dad’s stories about how amazing and beautiful they are make it seem so real,” he expressed. With a touch of melancholy, he added, “Dad would be thrilled with that.”